Wildebeest's Guide to Pet Emergency Kits
2020 has been filled with a lot of uncertainties due to COVID-19 and harsh weather conditions and natural disasters. And having a kit of basic essentials on hand can make us pet parents feel much better prepared for any emergency situation.
You might be wondering where to start, what is and isn’t essential and how much to bring if you have multiple pets. We’ve put together a list of 15 items you should have in your pet’s emergency kit and you can customize the list based on your specific needs.
1. Action Plan
As pet parents we need to have a plan in case of any emergency. Prepare yourself and all family members in your home on where to meet, know what locations accept pets in case of home evacuations and have a print out map and list of animal emergency locations in your area. Have this information written down in your emergency kit for reference and remember to keep it up-to-date.
2. Backpack / Travel Bag
Keep everything together in a backpack or duffel. Depending on the size and needs of your pets we suggest to pack a bag for each pet or compartmentalize their supplies, and making a separate emergency pack for yourself and members of your home. Your animals should have their own backpack to ensure they are equipped with everything incase you and your animals need to separate.
3. Food & Water
Bottled water and canned / dry food to last up to 3-7 days. If you have multiple pets have enough food and water for each pet and Include tools for your food choice such as a can opener or measuring guides for food.
If your pet takes any medications pack a few days worth in a childproof container. Label it with name, what it is, what it’s for, dosage and strength. Also keep on hand medical records and any important information about your pets health if they have medical needs.
5. ID Tags
Keep your pet’s ID tags up-to-date with Name, phone number, address and if they require specific medications or are microchipped. Consider getting an extra ID tag for your pets harness, collar, or pack as a backup.
6. Pet First Aid Kit
Consider making your own first aid kit (specific to your animal) or get one that’s already equipped with the basics such as gauze, tweezers, an ice pack, hydrogen peroxide, and adhesive tape. Amazon or your local pet stores carry a variety of pre-assembled first aid kits. For DIY first aid kit, check out a list put together by we the Animal Health Foundation.
7. List of Emergency Contacts & Important Info
Write down your contact information and emergency contacts in case you are separated, as well as microchip numbers, veterinary information and any other medical information that is important. Keep this list along with any other medical documents you need to carry in a waterproof sleeve to keep safe and dry in your travel bag.
8. Pet Photo
Have a current printed out photo of each of your pets in your kit in case you get separated from them. Having photos on your phone is convenient but in an emergency situation where your phone dies or there is no signal you should have a physical print out to help identify them.
9. Basic Care Items
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- garbage bags for clean up
- paper towels
- extra poop bag rolls
10. To-Go Bowl
We suggest having one or two bowls on hand that are collapsible and save space. Our Montara Pop-Up bowl is lightweight and compact enough to keep in your emergency kit. It can hold food or water, attaches to your leash or travel bag with velcro strap and is also easy to wipe clean or rinse out with water.
11. Treats & Treat Pouch
A bag of your pets favorite treats will help keep them calm and entertained during stressful situations. We suggest keeping a new bag of freeze dried or dry treats in your pack along with a pouch you can keep around your waist for easily accessing treats and other items like poop bags, keys, wallet, etc.
12. Extra Gear
You never know what might happen in an emergency and keeping an extra set of gear in your bag can prevent you and your pet from separating. Include a sturdy leash, collar and/or harness along with a soft muzzle in case your pets act out of anxiety or it's required by places you’d like to enter. Equip your backup gear with ID tags with your pets information.
13. Comfort Item
Whether it’s a favorite toy or blanket with your scent on it, bring something along that your pet is familiar and comfortable with. Keep in mind that emergency situations can create nervousness or anxiety in your pets. Having a familiar from home can help keep them calm and comfortable.
This might not be on everyone’s list but consider a durable lightweight or collapsable carrier for your smaller pets if they are easily spooked or don’t do well off leash. A carrier can help keep them calm around other people and animals and prevent runaway pets. Keep your pets name, phone number or any important numbers well marked on your crate / carrier.
15. Blankets & Seasonal Gear
Depending on where you live and what seasons you get, make sure you are prepared for any type of weather. So extra blankets or Jacket might be in your kit if you experience snow or rainy seasons.
Download a printable checklist here!
Keep in mind your emergency pet kit should acknowledge and contain everything someone should know about your pet if you weren’t there to tell them. Your kit should be kept near the door or near an emergency exit in your home that everyone in your household knows about and is easy to access. If you live alone or in an apartment / complex building consider exchanging information with your neighbors in case of an emergency that may occur when you aren’t home.
Remember to also change out expired food, water, treats, and medication every so often in your emergency kit, as well as update your pet’s medical / veterinary / ID information when it changes.
Being prepared for you and your pet is an important responsibility of a pet parent and being evacuation, blackout or environmental disaster will help keep and your pets calm and collected.